Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Political Climate of the 1980s Essay

Political Climate of the 1980s Essay

The historical role of the 1980s can hardly be underestimated. This was a decade that, to a significant extent, defined the modern development of the world. At any rate, the decade put the end to the Cold War or, at least, to the opposition between two superpowers, the USSR and the US. Also, the 1980s marked the period of serious changes in the US domestic policy, especially in relation to the national economy. At the same time, this epoch may be characterized as the epoch of Reagan, the President of the US who defined the policy of the US and created the basis for the final defeat of the USSR in the Cold War.

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First of all, the end of the 1970s marked the profound crisis of American economy and revealed its dependence on the supply of oil from foreign countries. At the same time, this crisis stimulated the US government in the 1980s to change its policy substantially that targeted the minimization of the US economy on oil import as well as the dependence of the country on foreign supplies. The economic changes implemented by the new President of the US, Reagan, were later known as “Reaganomics.” (Walsh, 1997, p.205). These changes targeted the stimulation of the economic development of the US through the reduction of expenses from the part of the state that was accompanied by the reduction of income tax rates. As a result, the US economy, which was stagnating at the end of 1970s, started to revive and progress after the implementation of the economic changes suggested by Reagan’s administration (Walsh, 1997). The economic successes of Reagan’s first Presidency determined his reelection for the second term.

Nevertheless, his achievement in the national economy was just a part of his work which actually defined not only the life of the US but also the life of the entire world. In this respect, Reagan rejected the policy of co-existence with the USSR and, instead, provoked the aggravation of relationships between two countries and stimulated the arms race. The US started a more aggressive policy in relation to its opponent, the USSR, and widely supported all anti-communist regimes, even though they were undemocratic (Kortunov, 1994). However, these methods were not new and proved their relative inefficiency because they did not lead to the final defeat of the USSR and Soviet bloc. In such a situation, the US focused on the arms race, especially on the famous Strategic Defense Initiative and in such a way provoked the economic collapse of the USSR which could not afford the growing arms race and its economy simply failed to cover the enormous expenses on defense of the country (Matlock, 2004). In fact, the economic collapse of the USSR was the major reason for the failure of the Soviet bloc, which, by the way, was simply torn apart by numerous contradictions between its members, especially in Eastern Europe where Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Poland demonstrated their dissatisfaction with the dictatorship of Moscow while the local population demanded freedom from the communist yoke (Kortunov, 1994). As a result, by the late 1980s the Soviet bloc was practically ruined from within.

In general, the 1980s may be characterized as the decade of greed, in all spheres of human life, including social, political, and economic life. The US was simply thrown into the arms race targeting the political dominance of the country in the entire world. The economic changes stimulated the growth of wealth and the reduction of social programs and expenses that led to the prosperity of the upper classes and growing need among the lower classes of American society. As a result, the financial prosperity became the major material and moral value of the epoch when practically everything had its own price. Nevertheless, such policy led to the economic growth and the defeat of the Soviet bloc and the USSR.

Obviously, the defeat of the USSR signified the victory of the US in the Cold War and after that moment the US remained the only superpower in the world. Naturally, the US could not fail to benefit from its dominant position in the world. In fact, they continued their aggressive international policy interfering in the international relations in order to gain some economic and political benefits and enhance its position in the world (Jeambar, 2001). In this respect, it is possible to mention a military operation in Grenada, or the Iran-Contra Affair. At the same time, the US amply supported its allies and stimulated the integration of all countries in the new world community based on the principles of free trade and where fiscal barrier were either eliminated or minimized. Obviously, such policy was extremely beneficial to the US which had the largest economic and military potential and which political influence in the world was enormous, if not to say monopolistic, by the end of 1980s.

In such a way, the 1980s marked a dramatic change that occurred in the world. This decade was the period of the end of the bipolar world divided into two opposing camps by the Cold War and gave birth to the new world order where the US dominated economically, politically, and militarily.
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Workplace Wellness Research Paper

Workplace Wellness Research Paper

Today it’s generally agreed that workplace wellness is perceived as an integral concept of organization management, which allows to improve company’s performance, cut healthcare costs and reduce traumatism. The growing need in health management and health promotion programs is explained by the growing demand from employees, due to globalization of national economies and growing competition. Recent survey’s show stable correlation between growing work motivation, economical benefits and better personal health indicators in the compares with developed health and wellness promotional programs, compared to those businesses where such practices are not used, which implies that wellness promotion is a reasonable and economically justified management program for any company.

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The paper discusses the importance of health and wellness promotion practices on workplaces, as currently employees are more subjected to stress related disorders and professional traumatism due to a growing load and growing performance demand. The paper analyzes results of survey conducted by American Association of Occupational Health Nurses about the need of wellness promotion and correlates it with findings of human management specialists and recent data of positive changes in the companies which widely use health promotion programs.

It’s generally agreed that workplace wellness is perceived as an integral concept of organization management which guarantees higher organization performance. Workplace health programs are among the key tasks for senior managers as they are considered to be of the most important components in organization of healthy and effective work environment.

Specialists today indicate that effectively planed workplace plans consist of various activities which can be classified according to the main the following elements: physical and social environment, healthcare practices and personal resources.

Current researches in human resource management and health management have indicated that practices to improve workplace health and wellness have a good impact on both performance of companies and attitude of employees towards their responsibilities. Moreover, specialists indicate about an obvious correlation between workplace wellness programs and growth of economical performance of companies, which witness necessity of health management.

Current economic tendencies show that need in healthy and high motivated workers is growing in every industry due to growing competition and globalization. That’s why future higher performance and success of businesses will depend not only on advanced technological innovations but also on health issues and motivation of prospective employees. There is a clear explanation of such tendencies: continuation of globalization will require higher performances from different businesses due to a growing competition, especially with countries where labor is cheaper. Such business practices will result in a growing number stress issues and stress related disorders, which will influence overall efficiency and will have far going affects on both company and employees.

“Chief executive officers, human resource managers, occupational health and safety personnel, and others in private and public sector organizations are actively supporting program and resources to assist employees to deal with the many stresses of life and enhance their productivity and effectiveness.”1 (from http://www.qnet.mb.ca/healthy_bkgrd.htm)

Studies conducted in healthcare management propose that workplace wellness practices allow to plan health spending on personnel and allow to decrease the total amount spent on health programs. According to the survey conducted by The American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN) employees clearly understand the importance of promoting workplace wellness programs:

72 percent of respondents witnessed that health programs will have a better impact on economic performance of organizations and on general working climate in companies. They have also marked that such tendencies as high injury or illness rate and high absenteeism demonstrate real problems in human resource management sector and they show the importance of hiring an OHN (occupation healthcare nurse).

Another important finding of the survey was the fact that most of employers have unclear idea about workplace health impacts: “Only half of companies interviewed said they do not know the full cost related to employee health- and disability-related issues. Companies who said they did have information available to assess the true costs of employee health issues tended to be the most active in offering value-focused employee health activities such as employee health and wellness programs.”2

The research conducted by AAOHN had the following findings: 60% of respondents from executive management sector responded that the role of OHN is very important, others also provided positive feedback3. Among the most important benefits of OHN were: reduction in worker’s compensation, reduction in absenteeism, reduction in the number of accidents and injuries on the workplace, growth of motivation.

Recent statistical data of health promotion and wellness programs, provided by different authors shows clear correlation with results of survey conducted by AAOHN, as workplace employee wellness practices are becoming widely spread, especially in big companies. If to compare 20 year old data with recent observations we’ll find out that progress in promouting health and wellness practices on workplaces is outstanding:

If in 1987 about 65% of US businesses with number of employers higher than 50 had at least one healthcare activity, then today many companies have their own healthcare centers or at least offer several health promotion activities to its employees. Recent data shows that “In 1996,89% of employers had some type of health initiative, up from64% in 1992. The most common health promotion initiatives were: smoke-free workplace (80%), education/training (78%), health risk assessment (76%), and special programs (71%).” 4

It’s important to note about economic benefits of health promotion programs, which allow reducing healthcare costs considerably. For example, survey of health program promoted by Procter and Gamble gives the following data: participants of this program had reduced their healthcare expenses on 29% compared to non-participants. In addition, they had fewer admissions to hospital and fewer days spent in hospital compared with those who didn’t participate in health promotion. Specialists mark that the most effective health promotion programs include stress reduction practices as nearly 60-90% of employees’ visits to physicians are caused by different types of stress disorders.5

Making a conclusion it’s important to note the necessity of health and wellness promotion on the workplace because of it’s stimulating and health cost reduction factors. Recent surveys and practices show that health promotion programs are very effective in creating a healthier working environment, increasing efficiency and stress disorders rehabilitation. Surveys indicate that expenses spent on health promotion, on creating more favorable labor conditions and professional medical aid of occupation healthcare nurse appear to be much smaller than expenses for labor case disability compensations, absenteeism and other negative effects of working environment. Besides illness and accident preventing, health and wellness promotion programs allow to reduce negative influence of stress related disorders, which considerably increases work performance and motivation of works. Recent health promotion practices which are followed by a growing number of companies also include differentiation of smoking and non smoking workers, introduction of free sport facilities (such as gyms, sport grounds, etc.) for employees, organization of company’s rehabilitation centers for temporary disabled employees, etc.

In addition, some authors mention that encouragement of alcohol and smoking cessation programs has positive influence not only on motivation of workers but also on their personal health and personal life, as a number of work related accidents considerable reduces among those employees who quit smoking or drinking. So, recent practices show that health management and health promotional programs can be regarded as an integral part of employee management programs which require new professionals who will specialize in workplace healthcare management, plan rehabilitation programs, realize different types of existing healthcare promotion programs and will develop new approaches of healthy life promotion and healthy workplace organization.
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Sunday, July 29, 2012

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents Essay

Analysis of “How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents”

How the García Girls Lost Their Accents” by Julia Alvarez is a funny and bitter sketch of the way the family of emigrants assimilated in New York City in the middle of 1950s.

Julia Alvarez, the author of the book is originally from the Dominican Republic, and this makes the theme of the narration very personal and close to her. Julia Alvarez admits that this novel is semi-autobiographical as it partially describes her own experience after her family has moved to another country.

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Julia immigrated to the United States when she was only 10 years old but she saved memoirs about her motherland during all her life and described them in her works. Julia Alvarez is the author of four novels and four books of poems. In addition she published several books for young readers.

“How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent” consists of fifteen interconnected short stories, which described the life of four sisters- Yolanda, Carla, Sandra and Sofia after their emigration to New Work city.

The novel does not follow a strict chronological order. It is written in the form of flashback. The story moves back in time as it starts with Yolanda’s story after she comes back to her motherland being a grown up woman. Then the narration describes events of the resent past and finally moves to the times, which preceded sisters’ emigration from the Dominican Republic. Such a structure of the book helps the readers to get a better understanding of the characters and different factors, which affected their lives. And finally, the structure of the book switches from one country to another. Such a composition helps the readers to compare two different countries and contrast them. This not only expands the knowledge of the readers about other countries, but also helps to get a better understanding of the inner drives of the main characters.

Yolanda is the main characters of the story. She has a lot of common features with the author. Same like Julia Alvarez, Yolanda turns to writing in order to come in terms with her own identity in the new country.

Cultural conflict, adapting to the new culture and inner transformation of the main characters are the main themes of the novel. In the novel the readers can see how the Latin culture, which is native to the main characters, clashes with the culture of their new motherland. This external conflict is not the only conflict of the novel. Internal conflict, which arises in the minds of the main characters is also in the focus of the author’s attention. This conflict appears from the desire to save native customs and traditions and to adapt to the new culture at the same time. This thing happens to all immigrants and Julia Alvarez perfectly illustrates this conflict. Right after the immigration all the members of the family feel very strong connection with the motherland they left. Gradually, they try to become “native” in the United States. They try to distance themselves from everything, which connects them with their past. Girls even try to change their appearance by ironing their hair and way of speaking by getting rid of Spanish accent in order to fit into the new life. All these attempts do not bring a desired result as they still are not able to distance away from their past and motherland. The readers can see all positive and negative sides of their position. From the one side they are trapped between two different worlds and can not find their place in each of them. From the other side they can benefit from both cultures and take the best things from them.

Carla, Sandra Yolanda and Sofia enjoyed a nice and peaceful leaving in the Dominican Republic till their father Carlos got in trouble because of his agitation against dictatorship. After this accident the family has to live the country and move to New York City. In the new place they have to experience much trouble while getting used to new way of life and new surrounding. Carlos soon gets medical fellowship and starts his own business. Carla experiences much trouble while adapting on the new place. She suffers because of prejudices of the schoolmates. On the example of small Carla the author shows how difficult it sometimes becomes for emigrants to join the American society and became an integral part of it. People, who arrive to America, hope to join multinational community and enjoy rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution but meet and invisible wall, which separate them from Anglos. They have to prove their right to live in this country and be treated like all the rest of the population. Finally emigrants come to the realization that despite they possess same rights as other citizens of the country; they still remain aliens, despite their legal status. Yolanda, another sister, becomes luckier and finds the way to carry on in the new place. She turns to writing and poetry. Finally, poetry helps her to express her inner thoughts and feelings and get a better understanding of herself and the world around her. Despite the protests of her father, she does not give up and finds her own way and expresses herself. Laura, her aunt, helpa her a lot and defends her from controlling father. Sofia soon gets in trouble because of the use of marijuana and is sent back to the Dominican Republic. This does not help, though and she gets into bigger trouble with her cousin Manuel.

Yolanda has problems with the opposite sex because of her origin. She can not get used to the attitude of American men to sex and relations. Her first love Rudy does not show deep understanding of her feelings and Yolanda is greatly hurt by his attitude. Later she gets married with the American man John but finally does controversies do not let them to be happy together. John can not understand Yolanda. He does not appreciate her culture and origin, does not respect her heritage and language. These relationships end with Yolanda’s breakdown and she spends some time in mental hospital before she finally recovers. What is notable, just before the breakdown she stops understanding American language and it starts sounding for her just like a combination of the sounds. Misunderstanding and strange surrounding finally blocks external culture like something hostile and dangerous. This shows one more time that all attempts of the girls to forget their motherland and their origin did not end up with a success. Sandra, another sister also had a mental breakdown. She is afraid she is loosing her human appearance. Sofia, the last sister marries a German man and has two nice children. She tries to show her new house and husband to all her relatives but finally comes to argument with her father during his birthday party organized in her house. Sandra is disappointed because of lack of affection her father has showed to her new way of life.

At the age of thirty nine Yolanda comes back to her motherland to join her relative and enjoy living in the motherland. Her family did not understand her decision to leave alone for the country side but this trip is necessary for Yolanda in order to come in terms with her inner thoughts and feelings.

The title of the novel is very symbolic. It has both, direct and metaphorical meaning. All four sisters try to loose their accent and speak good English in order to become undistinguishable from the native population of the United States. From the other side they try to change not only their language, but also their way of life and way of thinking. In the beginning their attempts seem to be successful but finally the readers see that living in between two cultures in not that simple. By the end of the book the readers see that despite the girls have lost their accent and speak perfect English, they did not manage to get rid of memories about their motherland and could not distance from their cultural heritage.

The author shows the feeling of people, who lost their motherland but were not accepted by the new country they arrive. Julia Alvarez knows very well what she is writing about she is descendant of Dominican family, who immigrated to America in the middle of the twentieth century. That is why she knows very well about the state of “border people”, who live in-between two cultures and two societies but belong to non of them. The novel illustrates the state of people, who are both – Americans and non-Americans at the same time. Deprived of their roots, they have to wander between two worlds, none of which feels like home. Alvarez gives us insight into the difficulties people meet when adapting to new culture and coming in terms with their cultural identities in the new place. Unfortunately, people very quickly reject those, who have left their native places. At the same time Americans are not very friendly to the newcomers, especially those, who differ from them. Here immigrants meet a kind of dilemma as they have to assimilate with the new way of life and save their identity at the same time.
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A Rose for Emily Research Paper

The Theme of Gender Relations in William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”

William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” is a short story about the life of South America at the beginning of the 20th century, which illustrates an attitude to women during the period described. The author gives interesting outlook of the social structure of the society of the time described. In this short story Faulkner manages to express the spirit of changes, which influence the lives of his characters. Society, described in this short story, differs from the one we face today. Deprived of basic rights and freedoms, women of those times were physically and emotionally subdued to men. The study of gender relations and importance of social influence of these relations became the main idea of Faulkner’s writing.

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Gender relation is one of the main themes of a short story “A Rose for Emily” written by Faulkner. The story is written in a form of third-person narration and, what is notable, there is no one definite narrator. Third person narration and multiple people, who tell the story, is a special device used by the author. It helps him to pass the point of view of town folks to his readers. The readers get not only an opinion of one separate person, but a combined idea of what people think of the town described.

This combination gives the readers an opportunity to see the way citizens perceive Emily. Through the attitude to Emily the attitude to women in general is reflected. Despite people do not have a direct contact with Emily, they have an important influence on all her life. Noble position and expectations of the society do not let Emily get married as her father can not find a worthy partner for his aristocratic daughter. Social opinion destroys Emily’s hope for happiness and makes her life empty and senseless. Later, the pressure of the society does not let Emily confess that Homer has left her and she commits a murder in order to save her reputation and save her face in public. Emily’s relations with her father illustrate male domination in the society of those times. The phrase “Miss Emily a slender figure in white in the background, her father a spraddled silhouette with foreground, his back to her and clutching a horsewhip…” gives a good description of the type of relations between Emily and her father (Faulkner, 69). She was nothing but a figure in the background as most women of those times used to be. Faulkner uses different stylistic devices in order to pass his message to the readers. This short story is rich in different symbols. Description of houses contains a lot of symbols, which help the readers to interpret the main character. Settings of the house reflect depressive atmosphere Emily spends her life in. Descriptions of Emily and her house contain symbols of death and devastation. A lot of descriptions throughout the story give the readers hints about terrible tragedy, which will be discovered by the end of the story.

After opening closed room after Emily’s death town folks see there "room decked and furnished as for a bridal: upon the valance curtains of faded rose color, upon the rose-shaded lights, upon the dressing table, upon the delicate array of crystal and the man's toilet things backed with tarnished silver, silver so tarnished that the monogram was obscured" (Faulkner, 72). All these symbols of happy life and bridal are contrasted to the death body lying on the bed.

The symbol or rose has also a very important meaning in the story. The author uses it to create a contrast between terrible reality of the story and Emily’s idealistic dreams. Great meaning of the symbol or rose is underlined by its use in the title. Original bright and optimistic meaning of rose is opposed in the story to the death and destruction. While reading the title of the story the readers start thinking about romantic symbolism of this flower, but it is only first impression. This perception is changed when they read the beginning of the story describing Emily’s funeral and finally disappear by the end of the story. Emily refuses to perceive death around her. She does not want to believe in her own father’s death. She wants her life to be full of roses but gradually comes to the realization that her romantic dreams are not to become true. Despite this realization breaks her heart it also has another important meaning. It becomes a push for inner transformation. Despite she does not want to perceive changes around her and wants to stay in the conservative society she got used to she finds enough courage to contradict social opinion and to start a relationship with Homer Barron.

Born in the aristocratic family, Emily has noble name and great wealth but in reality she possessed nothing, even the right to make decisions in her life. This is a typical situation for South America at the beginning of the last century. Men-dominated society created rigid norms and regulations women had to follow. Flexible for men, these rules put women in strict framework they had to follow during all their lives. Society started fierce oppression to Emily’s attempt to build her relationship with Baron because it was not appropriate for her noble range. Town folks have even asked her cousins to come and interfere with the situation. The murder became a desperate attempt to obtain a usual female happiness.

Rich symbolism used by Faulkner in this short story helps the author to pass his idea to the readers. Emily represents the remains of once aristocratic but now poor families. She is brought up by the ideals of her time and looks for quite happiness and family values. Cultured and sensitive, she has difficulties adapting the changing society, in which aristocracy is left in the past. Men of the society described by Faulkner are described as leaders and protectors. They take decision and decide what women should do. The roles given to women are reduced to taking care about the household and creating the most favorable conditions for men.
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Saturday, July 28, 2012

South Africa Research Paper

South Africa Research Paper

As every country, South Africa has its own problems. Racial and ethnic discrimination, social and political unrest and poverty sharpened national contradictions and impacted individual culture of African nationalities and their mentality. Racial discrimination was a long and exhausting struggle of blacks, which brought hundreds of deaths and thousands of disabled. For a long time white people strived to save their domination over blacks, who rejected to put up with the fact, that they were still being considered a lower race. After the Second World War it has been even declared to be a crime. Nowadays everything has changed, but drastic consequences still remain in different spheres of life in South Africa.

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South Africa is a multi-cultural country with over 40 million people and different ethnic groups with their own languages and cultures.

Here is the division of population in South Africa: The biggest groups: Zulus – 21% Xhosas – 17% Sotho – 15% Minorities: Tswana Venda Ndebele Pedi Swasi, etc

8% of the population is white people, originated from Dutch, German and French immigrants in particular. They speak Afrikaans, and in the times of racial discrimination it was prohibited to educate children in other language, than this one, which resulted in a number of strikes. Now white people mainly dwell in Cape Province and Natal. Among Europeans there are the Afrikaner, Anglofricans, British, Jutes and others. Nevertheless this multicultural society has serious contradictions between different ethnic groups, but democracy is gradually spreading here. What differentiates ethnicity and race?

Race unites people, who have common history, nationality and geographic location, while ethnicity classifies people by common customs, origins and traditions. Ethnic groups of people can’t be defined as races, because ethnicity is more precise and self-sufficient. An ethnic group not necessarily lives on one territory. But conflicts between ethnicities are similar to racial, national and religious controversies. Racism is most clearly defined as racial prejudices.

Nearly till the end of the XX century South African inhabitants were divided into white people, who possessed all rights, and blacks, who had only one right – to work. All laws, which fixed domination of whites of blacks, were passed Cape Town. The system was named “apartheid”, which is translated as “separate existence”. This term is not likely to tell anything to further generations, but not long ago people could hear it anywhere. What were the reasons for such laws? In fact, they were justified by the five times larger black population, and if to allow mixed marriages, for example, there won’t remain white people at all. Another reason was the idea, that native inhabitants are not civilized enough, and understand freedom, as freedom to rob and murder. On this basis the country authorities prohibited co-education of blacks and whites in schools and higher institutions.

Discrimination prevents ethnic and racial groups from sharing same civil, political, economic, cultural and other rights. And it continues to be the main problem of human rights in the world (The rights of ethnic and racial minorities, 2002) The apartheid took place between whites and blacks, but also affected such ethnic groups as Xhosas and Zulus, which stood up against each other, but not against the state authorities. Racial segregation, which was supposed to provide powerful political and economical conditions for whites, resulted in disaster. Major part of exceeding black population now dwells in poverty, which accordingly affects sanitary. It is common knowledge, that Southern Africa has the highest level of HIV/AIDS infected (over 25%). People suffer from lack of electricity, water and just proper places to live in. There are still problems with education, as many people remain illiterate. Such conditions also encourage criminal activity. The researcher Graeme Simpson claimed, that absence of proper social welfare and high level of unemployment caused political and criminal violence in South Africa. The reports show rapid increase of violent crimes. In 1992 there were 20,135 murders through the country, while the previous year the number was 14,693 (Simpson, 1993).

In earlier times people with dark color of skin in South Africa were deprived of the right to go to big cities freely. Their emergence in big cities was allowed only during working hours with the permission from employers. The rest of time, Africans ought to be in so-called “townships” on the outskirts of big cities. To picture it better, I would like to give an example of Dark City, where nearly 6,000 of native dwellers were unemployed. The level of joblessness and accordingly the level of criminality here was one of the highest in the whole South Africa. Police on the streets was a rare phenomenon. And the disapproval of racist regime grew through the country. In its history there were lots of tragic and cruel events, such as mass shooting of strikers, during one of which over hundreds of young people had been killed.

Nowadays, however, South Africa is actually “another country”. Sinton-City used to be the region of white money-bags, with the most expensive mansions, luxurious restaurants and the largest trade centers. In the past only black Africans who served white people (waiters, cleaners) were allowed to come here. In ten years everything has radically changed. Native population got access to education, state positions and business. However many people claim, that though equality is, essentially, very important, there is a problem of brain-drain at the moment. Service culture decreased in comparison with previous times. New government applies to life a program “affirmative actions”: in employment the preference is given to black people. It becomes harder for a white specialist to find work, and that’s why many well-educated and clever people go abroad. Very few of black people are competent specialists. This program of affirmative actions was borrowed from Americans: in times, when Lyndon Johnson ruled the country, such program was supposed to remove consequences of racial discrimination and provide equal rights for Afro-Americans. But we shouldn’t forget that apartheid in South Africa was abolished only 10 years ago, and the problem of education can’t be solved immediately.

First steps to improve the situation were taken by the Children’s Charter of South Africa, which openly declared about existing problems, and offered ways to eliminate them. Before this, black children in South Africa were silently abused. Children continue to be mistreated, and suffer from inequality in the area of education. Taking into account culture, languages and traditions of the children, measures should be taken to improve life of children, defend their rights, especially in those parts of the country, which have the highest level of poverty, political unrest and violence (The Children’s Charter of South Africa, 1992).

In conclusion I would like to say, that racial and ethnical discrimination greatly impacted the life of South African population, and its consequences need time to be wiped out completely.
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Polygamy in Islam Essay

Polygamy in Islam Essay

The world is paying more attention than ever before to Muslim countries, a lot of the world policies are made to improve the quality of life there, proclaim democracy, spread freedom, etc. However, the treatment of women in some of these countries is still the cause of utter shock. What must be said is that this treatment represents tribal rather than Islamic values, so fairly it cannot be said that Islam officially proclaims unfair treatment of women. Moreover, in the past the women in Islam were probably much more liberated than other women of that time. They had more rights than in any other world civilization — except for modern Western civilization. If compared to early Christian, Hindu, or Chinese civilization in the 7th century, women in Islam were much more emancipated and had more rights. They could divorce, inherit property, they led the armies and set an important part in the development of the Islamic literature and culture.

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It is also significant to remind that the first person to convert to Islam was Khadija, the Prophet’s Mohammad’s wife. She was a regular merchant who widowed soon after the wedding. The Islamic history states that Khadija herself proposed to Mohammad and was by his side when he started receiving the revelations. This one event proves that women have a major role in Islam, so they must be treated equally or even superior to men. However, women in Muslim countries are not treated equally and this is not an assumption, it is a solid fact.

So the questions that must be posted should be as follows: if women had played the major role in the foundation of Islam why did it happen that they are discriminated? And what was the cause of change in the way Muslim women were treated? The change came when the European colonization arrived in the Middle East and South Asia. It was then when the Muslim women were put into seclusion and locked behind the walls of their houses. They were put into shawls called burkhas that cover their body from top to toes, leaving only the eyes open. This occurred because men no longer felt safe and sound – they were not secure, they were vulnerable — and did not know how to save their culture, laws, and women in particular from the European influence. The response they came up with was locking up their women, and it is really easy to understand why they decided to do it. Women in the Muslim nation have always symbolized honor and dignity, and with the arrival of the European culture, the Muslim men started being afraid to lose this honor and dignity. The change in the way women were treated was a defensive response to the spread of European civilization. They were hidden from the eyes of the Europeans in order to be protected, however an attempt to protect did not have the wanted result.

The arrival of the European has also created some kind of ignorance in the Muslim society, and men started to deny the rights women used to have. Such as for example right to property, inheritance and education. At that point a kind of perversion of Islam took place. And we are seeing some of the aftermath of that today, being astounded and shocked by the laws towering above the Islamic culture. One Islamic law that seems to be the biggest controversy for the western world is the issue of polygamy. In my paper I would like to cover this divisive issue, trying to look at it from both sides: the western and Islamic, still focusing on the discrimination and unfairness women experience while being in a polygamous marriage.

Polygamy is a very ancient practice found in many human societies and various religions. The Bible did not censure polygamy, moreover the Old Testament and Rabbinic writings often prove the full legality of polygamy. “King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3) King David also is said to have many wives and concubines (2 Samuel 5:13).The only restriction on polygamy is a ban on taking a wife's sister as a rival wife (Lev. 18:18).” It must be mentioned that Jesus is not know to have spoken against polygamy. So this proves it was a common practice in not only Islam but Christianity and Judaism.

To begin with it should be clarified that Islam does not oblige polygamy as a universal practice and Mohammed himself was a monogamist and lived with Khadija until she died. According to the Muslim traditions, engaging in polygamy has been done for the purpose of “solving many social and domestic problems”, which a family faced (Muslim Matrimonial). There is a direct quote in Quran about the polygamy that is stated as follows: “And if you fear that you cannot act equitably towards orphans, then marry such women as seem good to you, two and three and four; but if you fear that you will not do justice [between them], then [marry] only one or what your right hands possess; this is more proper, that you may not deviate from the right course.” (Al-Quran 4:3)So it is clear that there are rules that must be kept if one wants to engage in polygamy, and that is not obligated but rather encouraged. It is very hard to be objective on the subject of polygamy, because we, as western Europeans, find this issue, to be simply downright astonishing. Still in Islamic culture it is considered that plural marriage helps to increase “the numbers of the ummah” that is the nation of the Muslim community. The increase of the amount of the representatives of the Arabic tribe can be reached only by the increasing the number of offspring gained through plural marriages. Of course, the amount of offspring gained from a marriage to one wife will be smaller indeed. (Ahmed)And that is one of the reasons polygamy got such popularity within Muslims.

As it was already mentioned, people of Islamic religion advocate that polygamy can be the solution for many problems. These arguments definitely make sense, though they seem rather odd for a modern person. The most obvious example of the necessity of polygamy occurs in times of war when there are inescapably large numbers of widows and girls whose fiancées and husbands did not come back from the battle field. In such a situation widows and young girls are left without any chance to marry or get remarried and have kids. The polygamy helps in this case by providing an opportunity for every woman to be somebody’s wife and mother. (Westermarck, 43)

Other circumstances where in an Islamic tradition the marriage to more than one wife may be preferable are as follows. For example, the first wife may be chronically sick and in this case a second, third or fourth marriage could be an adequate solution. Again there are women who are unable to have children, while the husband very much wants them. And he also can achieve the joy of fatherhood through marrying again, together with keeping the first or first two wives (Azim). It is also considered that men's sexual needs are much greater than those of women. And as all healthy women go through periods or give birth to children and it is not possible to have sexual intercourse with them during these periods thus men need more than one wife in order to be sexually satisfied at all times of his life (Ali Engineer).

It cannot be denied that the arguments for the polygamy in Islam seem to be obvious but let’s look at polygamy from the perspective of woman, and we will see how these arguments can be easily rebutted. To begin with, “it is not at all biologically proven that woman's sexual needs are any less than men”, yes women seem to be less sexually active, but it is their “social conditioning” that makes them that (Ali Engineer). It is also cannot be said that a man is created simply as a sexual beast and “he cannot control his sexual activity during menstrual period of his wife” or when she gives birth to his child. (Asghar Ali)Thousands of men all over the world are capable of this and they do not even consider it such a complicated thing to do. Without a shadow of doubt, people, men in particular are frequently guided by sexual instincts, however marriage is not all about sexual satisfaction it is much more than that. It is about being committed, sharing good and bad times and, developing the trust and reliance between the spouses, not only satisfying the sexual desires. Furthermore, polygamy puts a woman under pressure that cannot be left without notice. Women are much more sensitive and vulnerable than men, they need full love and devotion. Even though Quran states that one should take a second or more wives only if he is ready to treat them equally we all know that loving couple of women equally strong is impossible. When a husband marries another woman the first wife spends less time with him, because his spare time has to be shared between her and other wives. (Westermarck, 42-42) She is experiencing the feeling of jealously, since the woman likes to have full attention and full unshared adore from her partner. It also brings family chaos since the husband spends less time with the children. The woman receives less money from her husband because the money has to be shared equally between more people. All the stated above leads to the rise of life dissatisfaction and turns the life of a woman into vegetation.

That is true that the lives of women in Islamic countries are rather difficult. Nevertheless, let us not paint it “in black and white” (Abd al-Ati). We should not forget that there are some Muslim women who hold posts in politics nowadays. For example, there is a woman president in Indonesia, female prime ministers in Pakistan and Bangladesh, several female deputy prime ministers in Central Asia, and a female vise president of Iran.(Abd al-Ati) However as long as such an issue as polygamy persists, the discrimination of women in Arabic countries will also persist.

So, to my mind, what should be done is that the Islamic women should be brought from the position of “chattel” in marriage to that of equal partners. They should switch from a completely impotent bystander in the matter of divorce, to one who could start the divorce proceedings and claim her rights of dot and inheritance. They should become legal personalities and stop being the legal nonentities. And for sure, in couple of decades, or maybe years they will manage to achieve it by themselves and with the help of the world community.
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Monday, July 23, 2012

Globalization Essay

Globalization Essay

Goods of Globalization for the United States Michael Cox and Richard Fisher are the chief economist and the president of the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas. In their article called Globalizing Good Government they enumerate all possible positive impacts globalization can have on the United States of America. They also centre on the impact globalization has on the government of different countries. They state that globalization also influences labour policies of the countries. As they state in their article, “the more globalized nations tend to pursue policies that achieve faster economic growth,” while “the least globalized countries are prone to policies that interfere with markets and lead to stagnation” (Cox, Fisher).

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The growth of interaction between nations and countries and creating of one economical space gives more and more reasons to talk about the growing temps of globalization. Nowadays it is a phenomenon nobody can escape. Globalization is understood as economic integration and liberalization, deregulation of trade, development of macroeconomics, changes in the understanding of functions and role of state and integration of globalization of information systems.

Nowadays all the developed and developing countries try to gain more space and open their own markets on the world arena. It goes without saying that the United States is the leading country on the world market and it produces a lot of American goods which are of great advantage on the international market. Economic growth of the USA greatly depends on its exports because exports make one-quarter of the economy. As state the authors of the article, “Nations can no longer sit within their borders and pursue policies incompatible with an increasingly integrated world economy. The types of services, manufacturing and entrepreneurship that generate national wealth are more mobile than ever, and they will forsake countries that shackle business and labor with unnecessary burdens” (Fisher, Cox).

Approximately 12 million American jobs are connected with export and depend on it and people who work in this sphere get wages 13 to 19 percent higher than those who work in the national sphere. The United States has great benefits from the NAFTA and the Uruguay Round as they encourage American businessman to make goods of higher quality, which would be available at lower prices.

Among the goods for which Globalization of the United States has a comparative advantage are footwear, medical equipment, furniture, machinery types and electronics. Among the most exported goods are oil and different kinds of weapon. After the World War II there was the arm race between the USA and USSR. The production of numerous kinds of weapon became the paramount task of the country; the American economy was subordinated to this main task. After the end of the cold war the production of the weapon in the USA was on a high level and it gave The United States got the chance to become the leading exporter of weapon on the international market.

The States is now on the post-industrial stage of the development, it means that informational technologies prevail there. Being one of the leading producers of high technology and automated equipment the USA is also the leading exporter of these goods. Among the American technologies computers and specially designed software are the most exported goods. It is obvious that there are certain rules on technology and weapon transfers to different countries of the world because without these strict rules foreign countries would be able to use them in their own interests and apply weapons to the military programs and so jeopardize the entire world.

One-third of the area of American farms is seeded with crops which also become one of most popular export products. Crops are exported in enormous quantity every year, so grain of high quality that is grown on the territory of the United States is another exported good.

America, being the country of great opportunities, does everything to present goods of high quality on the international market. American economic growth depends on the exports and so the country is interested in the production of exclusive and high-quality goods and the process of Globalization gave America possibility to present thee goods for other countries. “It is clear that countries with solid policies will be more successful in the global economy, if our data demonstrate anything, it is that globalization prompts a race to the top by pushing countries to abandon policies that burden their economies in favour of those that fuel growth and economic opportunity.” (Cox, Fisher) They also add that some recent policies, such as favorable corporate taxes and openness of the world market contribute to the fast economic growth of the country.

I found the article by Cox and Fisher to be very useful and informative. They shape out the perspective created by the US’s participation in the globalization. At the same time Cox and Fisher give somewhat limited description of events. They center only on positive sides of the phenomena. While enumerating all positive sides of globalization, the authors of the article forget about possible dangers caused by the growing temps of globalization. Despite the authors talk about economic growth caused by globalization, they give little argument in order to support their thesis. They do no provide convincing proofs, such as exact data and numbers, in their research. Despite all these counterparts I found the article very interesting and information provided by the author expanded my knowledge.
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Bill Gates Research Paper

Bill Gates Research Paper

Executive summary 
The paper focuses on Bill Gates as one of the most successful leaders in the modern world. At the beginning the major reasons that brought him the great success are discussed. After that his personality and activities are analyzed in terms of strong and negative aspects of leadership. Basically, Bill Gates is defined as a strong leader possessing great enthusiasm and charisma that tends to unite people working with him, though he also possesses certain authoritarian traits, especially in relation to major competitors of his company.

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The role of leaders in the development of human society was traditionally extremely important. It is an undeniable fact that successful leaders contributed to the general progress of society even though not all of their actions were good. Nevertheless, regardless the actions of a leader, he/she stimulates his surrounding to certain actions or even counter-actions which inevitably lead the group or the entire society to progress. At the same time, it is necessary to underline that the notion of leadership is quite large and may be applied to different spheres though, in principle, the concept of leadership remains unchanged and does not really depends on the field where it is applied.

In other words, leaders are present in all fields, including not only politics, but also economy, science, technologies, culture, etc. Obviously, leadership is equally important to all spheres. This is why it is possible to speak about the significance and the role of a personality of leaders in history. Basically, this does not necessarily mean the interpretation of the role of a leader in terms of the world history, but it rather implies his/her significant to the epoch and his/her influence on the surrounding people. What is more important is the fact that leaders possess a great power to influence people, fully reveal their potential and realize their greatest dreams. This means that leaders can realize themselves but they can also stimulate other people to fully reveal their talents and realize their potential.

Obviously, nowadays, leadership is widely applied to the sphere of business and technologies. In fact, the role of business leaders as well as leaders in the domain of technologies, is of a paramount importance in the modern world because nowadays, the role of politics, for instance, seems to be not so important as it used to be in the past, while the role of business and advanced technologies has increased considerably. In fact, new technologies may be viewed as a major condition of a successful business as well as a guarantee of the political leadership of a country where these technologies are invented and widely implemented. This is why it is possible to estimate that the modern leader should be conscious of the importance of new technologies which can help him/her to improve his/her position in the leadership in a company or even politics.

At the same time, the most successful leaders combine the leadership in different domains such as technologies and business. In this respect, it is possible to name Bill Gates as one of the most successful leaders of the present epoch. In fact, Bill Gates managed to successfully combine his talent as a successful IT specialist with the qualities of a successful business leader. Nowadays, Bill Gates is considered to be one of the most successful people in the world. At the same time, if his success may be measured in financial terms, than, unquestionably, he is the most successful person because, according to the recent studies, his wealth constituted about $56 billion that is the largest fortune a businessman can have in the modern world. In such a situation, it is really important to carefully analyze his work and career as well as his personality, in order to clearly find out the major reasons that helped him to achieve such a tremendous success. At the same time, it is necessary to pay attention to the fact that along with a number of strengths of Bill Gates as a leader, he still has certain weaknesses that is quite natural since, as any other human, Bill Gates is also not a perfect or almighty being.

Reasons for success of Bill Gates
On analyzing the life and work of Bill Gates, it is necessary to point out that he has achieved really great results and he may be considered as a very successful person judging from his achievements in business and work. It is not a secret that he is one of the richest people in the world and, what is more, he is considered to be a guru of high technologies. To put it more precisely, his inventions and achievements in the field of IT made him a really successful person and, to a significant extent, it is due to his inventions he became such a famous and rich person.

In this respect, it should be said that Bill Gates is one of the most successful businessmen of the epoch of personal computers revolution. It should be said that his commercial success is based on his professional achievements as an IT specialist. It should be pointed out that he started his work at a very early age and it was one of the major conditions of his further success because due to his young age he managed to take risks at the domain where other more experienced businessmen were unwilling to invest money. Moreover, he combined his talent in the field of IT with traits of a successful businessman. At any rate, he managed to create a product and, what is more, he managed to fully benefit from this new product.

Speaking about his first successes which may be viewed as the basis for his future progress and leading position in the world market of IT and software, it is necessary to underline that Bill Gates began his career in personal computer software, programming computers at age of 13 (Bank 152). Obviously, this was not the age when other people started their work, especially in such a highly technological field. In fact, this early start became the basis of his further success which actually defined his entire career. To put it more precisely, a young boy could hardly choose any other way in his professional life since he actually did the job he liked very much and, what is more, he perfectly felt that he is very successful in this field. Moreover, it is necessary to underline that it was not just because of success of his programming and software that made him so eager in his work but it is also due to the fact that he was a great enthusiast that really enjoyed his work. Actually, the latter fact is probably the most important factor that determined his general success because it was really important for a young boy to find the way in his life, especially under pressure of his successful parents. It is worthy of mention that his father was a respectable attorney in Seattle and, naturally, he wanted his son to receive a good education. This is why Bill Gates’ study at the private Lakeside School in North Seattle was followed by study at Harvard. In all probability, the highly respectable educational establishment which Bill Gates attended produced certain impact on his personality but, in actuality, it seemed as if the boy was so gifted that he did not actually need that high education and the fact that he started work at the age of 13 perfectly proves that he was a person that outstripped his time in a way. This means that he was so developed that the study was not the major source of his success and his knowledge. Instead he rather relied on his profound interest to computers and new technologies, his experiments than on academic knowledge which simply could not supply Bill Gates with essential information or knowledge about computing. In stark contrast, it was Bill Gates who created new knowledge and actually made the history of personal computer software and IT.

In such a way, it is possible to estimate that Bill Gates basically relied on the innovative character of his work that was an important factor that contributed to his success and the positive achievements of the company he headed along with his partner Paul Allen, Microsoft. At the same time, it should be pointed out that Bill Gates could not found his own company at the very beginning of his professional career. Instead, he had to work for other companies and people before becoming an owner of his own company. In this respect, it should be said that specialists point out that “although Bill Gates is mostly known for his founding of Microsoft he also has done a number of programming jobs before becoming the world’s richest man” (Wallace 268). This fact is really important because while doing these jobs Bill Gates could have an excellent opportunity to practice and acquire essential experience in his work. To put it more precisely, this was an essential experience because it would be really dangerous to his own company if Bill Gates started experiments which were not based on any past experience in the company of his own. In actuality, this would be a great threat to his company and his future career because any serious failure would undermine his financial position and, what is more, the failure in his own company could deteriorate his public image as a successful and young leader of the company dealing with innovative technologies. On the other hand, as Bill Gates came to Microsoft well-prepared, he could fully realize his ideas and projects in practical life because he had already acquired certain experience and, as he founded his own company, he could act independently from others. Consequently, the combination of experience and innovations brought first successes to Bill Gates in his company. At the same time, it is necessary to underline that Bill Gates paid a lot of attention to innovations which contributed significantly to his successes. No wonder, he is considered to be one of the most progressive businessmen and IT specialists in the modern world.

Furthermore, it should be said that Bill Gates had chosen a really perspective direction in his professional career. In fact, he started his work at the dawn of the era of personal computers. At that epoch there were really few individuals that could foresee the perspectives of personal computers and development of computer software, while Bill Gates sincerely believed that the personal computer “would be a valuable tool on every office desktop and in every home” (Manes and Andrews 316). This is why he and his companion actually started to develop software for personal computers that brought them tremendous success. Obviously, this was quite a risky step because Bill Gates started to work in the new field but he turned to be conscious enough of the perspectives of computer and software industry that also determined his future successes because he managed to become among the leaders of this industry since he was the first, or at least, among the first people and businessmen who actively applied their knowledge to the development of personal computers and software. For instance, Bill Gates developed a version of the programming language BASIC for the first microcomputer – the MITS Altair.

However, it is necessary to underline that his gift in programming was just a half of his general success, though his leadership qualities had already become obvious as he started to develop new technologies. Another considerable part of his success was determined by his gift as a successful business leader. In this respect, it should be said that it was not enough to invent new software but it was also extremely important to successfully implement and sell it. This is exactly where the talent of Bill Gates as a successful businessman was revealed. It should be said that Bill Gates managed to organize a company, Microsoft, regardless his early age and, what is more, this company became an effective organization where he could realize his own ideas and where his products could be created and sold. Obviously, this was the project that could hardly be developed by an ordinary individual but only by a leader that ha certain charisma due to which Bill Gates united his friends and colleagues. In fact, it was Bill Gates who actually inspired his friends to work together in Microsoft. Even though this company was new his friends agreed to work in Microsoft that perfectly illustrated the talent of Bill Gates as a manager. In this respect, it should be said that all the employees of Microsoft were talented people who could easily find a good and perspective job in any other respectable company which position in the market were considerably better compared to that of Microsoft. Moreover, Bill Gates himself could also be successfully employed in one of the leading American companies.

However, he wanted to develop his own business, being independent from any other company. This is why he initiated the creation of Microsoft. Naturally, it is possible to understand his desire to be independent and develop a company where he could realize his ideas but, it is quite difficult to realize how his friends and partners agreed to participate in this project. In actuality, this apparently risky decision was taken under the impact of Bill Gates. It is due to his leadership qualities he managed to convince his friends to join his company and work together in Microsoft. This was really important because he really needed the support of reliable people whom he could trust because to realize the projects of Microsoft the entire team should be extremely enthusiastic and full of conscious of its future success and Bill Gates managed to inspire the team and make all its members to believe in the perfect future of the company.

At the same time, as the first success came, Bill Gates did not stop progressing, he did not sale his company, as many other gifted people did when they first significant success, instead he kept progressing and focused on the further development and promotion of his company. It is necessary to underline that again Bill Gates demonstrated his talent of a successful business leader. He was conscious of the fact that Microsoft operated in the innovative field and, in actuality, the company had a few competitors. Nevertheless, potentially there were serious threats to Microsoft leadership in the industry at the beginning. This is why it was really important to maintain the leading position of the company in the market in the situation when the competition was constantly growing.

Naturally, it was possible to develop new technologies which could put the company in the advantageous position compared to its major competitors and so Microsoft did but, in addition, Bill Gates managed to achieve practically the monopolistic position of Microsoft in the market. In actuality, even nowadays, the company is the unquestionable leader of the industry while its competitors are so weak that they remain in the shadow of Microsoft which operates worldwide and which products are the most popular in the world market of software products.

Nowadays, Bill Gates does not seem to give up. Even though there is a growing opposition from the part of competitors and national government throughout the world, Microsoft still remains the world leader in its segment of the market and, what is more, the company tends to diversification of products offered to its customers (Edstrom and Eller 402). Naturally, the role of Bill Gates in this process is still very important because it is him who keeps the company pushing in the world market and it is due to his leadership qualities he manages to work the multinational company as a solid and united organization the work of all units of which is coordinated.

Strengths of Bill Gates as a leader 
The development of the professional career of Bill Gates proves the fact that he was a successful and strong leader. First of all, it should be said that he started his career at the very early age. This is why it is possible to estimate that he was focused on his work from the beginning of his career. To put it more precisely, it should be said that professional growth was actually not the major goal of his life but it is rather his career constituted a natural part of his life. This means that career was secondary to Bill Gates but his ideas he wanted to realize were prior to his professional success and this may be viewed as strength of this leader.

In this respect, it should be said that his enthusiasm and interest to personal computers and software was that ideological basis that helped him to unite his friends and create Microsoft. At the same time, it is obvious that he played the leading role in this new organization even though his partners and colleagues were also quite gifted people. However, they were basically gifted ‘technologically’. This means they were really successful in programming and developing software but they could hardly be viewed as successful leaders or businessmen. In stark contrast, Bill Gates was that person that had the idea that made all these people work together in one company. It should be said that Bill Gates was the leader that invented the idea and spread it throughout his team.

In fact, it is hardly possible to estimate that Bill Gates was in an advantageous position compared to his patterns in Microsoft at first years of functioning of the company. As it has already been mentioned above, Microsoft in first years of its existence was a team of talented enthusiasts which worked in the innovative industry. This is why the role of Bill Gates can hardly be underestimated because he possessed that power, that charisma that helped him convince all those who joined him in Microsoft that this company would have success. However, he started to demonstrate his strengths as a leader even at the earlier age as he started to work on programming at the age of 13 while he had been attending a school. It should be said that he demonstrated his ability to resist to his surrounding and he would never give up to circumstances. Practically, this means that, being a young boy, he could be easily influenced by his parents, teachers, peers, and other people that surrounded Bill Gates at that epoch. Nevertheless, Bill Gates paid little attention to his environment and acted according to his internal inclinations. This characteristic of him indicates to the fact that Bill Gates was a really independent person that perfectly realized what he actually wanted to achieve and, what is even more, he made the best he could to achieve his purposes.

At the same time, it is also important to underline that Bill Gates was able to foresee the further development of technologies and business. This is why he was always so successful in his inventions and business. To put it more precisely, he always worked in the field which was closely related to the implementation of new technologies. It is worthy of reminding that personal computers and software were quite innovative concepts for 1960-1970s. Nevertheless, Bill Gates was convinced in the great perspectives computing and software had in the future. This is why he was so concerned about the development of software and, in such a situation, his decision to drop out of Harvard to create his own company seems to be quite natural.

This step actually demonstrates the extent to which Bill Gates was sure in his own actions and in perspectives of the industry he worked in. It was the decision that only a strong personality, a leader could take because he actually ruined all stereotypes concerning the traditional way of the career growth and professional development. Traditionally, it is believed that it is necessary to receive a higher education before starting a professional career, while Bill Gates easily rejected this biased view and, instead, decided to focus on the work he really liked. He gave up studying when he realized that he would have a chance to realize himself and his potential in his professional work. His early efforts in programming eventually led him to the idea that he needed to create the company of his own where he could fulfill all his plans and ideas.

On the other hand, his decision to create his own company, even though he had not received a higher education yet, demonstrates the extent to which Bill Gates was ready to take risky decisions. Obviously, the failure of Microsoft was quite probable, taking into consideration the early age of its founders and the team working within the company. Consequently, Bill Gates should be a really brave leader to create Microsoft. In this respect, it is necessary to underline that he was a real leader because it was him that convinced Paul Allen and other people who joined him in Microsoft because it was a really difficult decision to take. In fact, it would be quite logical that Paul Allen and all the rest of Microsoft team simply rejected the proposition of Bill Gates to create the new company since they had good perspectives and could be easily employed in any other company (Lowe 192). This is where Bill Gates’ charisma and leadership qualities came into play. He managed to convince his partners in the great perspectives they could have in Microsoft, though this was quite difficult to do because Microsoft was operating in the new field and this industry was still underdeveloped at that epoch. This may be viewed as another evidence of Bill Gates’ ability to take risky decision.

At the same time, the creation of Microsoft may be viewed as a proof of Bill Gates’ ability to unite and inspire surrounding people working with him. In this respect, it should be said that Bill Gates turned to be a person that was able to overcome standard way of thinking and view the world in a different way. What is meant here is the fact that Bill Gates realized the great perspective of the company he wanted to create and he convinced his friends that this company could be really successful. It should be said that his enthusiasm and sincere belief in his success played an important role in the choice his friends made while taking decision to join Bill Gates in Microsoft. His enthusiasm may be viewed as another strength of this leader because it helped encourage and inspire his surrounding to keep moving ahead regardless obvious difficulties that sprang everywhere on the way of Microsoft on its way to the world recognition (Wallace and Erickson 243). It is worthy of mention that Bill Gates’ enthusiasm was a very significant moral stimulus to his colleagues because it helped them neglect the objective difficulties, which they might and which they actually faced, and continue their work.

It is also important to underline that Bill Gates was a really talented person that also helped him be a strong leader. In fact, since a very early age, he had demonstrated that he was a genius individual. It was practically improbably that a teenager could work on programming computers and was also quite difficult to believe that a man that had not got a higher education would have been able to run a company operating in the new industry of persona computers and software. However, due to his talent and leadership qualities Bill Gates managed to change the stereotypes and proved that he could achieve great results regardless the presumable lack of education, experience, etc. It should be said that his talent was the source of his inspiration and his ideas because he managed to achieve positive results at a very early age due to his own inventions. Consequently, he was sincerely convinced in his ability to successfully implement his ideas in his own company and, what is more, he shared his conviction with the rest of Microsoft team.

In his later life, Bill Gates revealed other leadership qualities which were really helpful in his work as a head of Microsoft and simply a successful businessman. In this respect, it is worthy of mention the fact that Bill Gates constantly attempts to develop good relationships with all employees working in his company. To put it more precisely, regardless his high social position and enormous fortune, he still attempts to be just a member of the team annihilating the distance that could possible exist between him and his employees. For instance, it is not a secret that “even with all that money Bill drives himself to work in an average family car and he even flies coach” (Rivlin 158). This interesting fact may be viewed as evidence of his attempt to be a really democratic and liberal leader which seems to be just a guy living next-door to an average employee and not a miraculously rich businessman living in one of the most expansive houses in the world (Rivlin 159). This may be viewed as strength of Bill Gates as a leader because it contributes to his positive public image and makes his employees as well as other people convinced that Bill Gates is just the right man who can lead the company in the right way and who can really understand his employees, their needs and interests. Naturally, this contributes to the formation of the positive atmosphere within the company.

At the same time, one of the most important strengths of Bill Gates as a leader is his constant focus on the further progress. In actuality, he never stops in the progress of his company and he constantly demands that Microsoft developed more and more advanced technologies. No wonder, he views the improvement of the existing software technologies as one of the strategic directions of the further development of the company (Wallace 295). In this respect, it is worthy of mention that with the development of Internet, Bill Gates have managed to redirect the development of his company in this direction. To put it more precisely, in his work “The Road Ahead” Bill Gates (1999) points out that interactive network are a major milestone in human communication (269). In such a way, on strategically redeploying Microsoft to take advantage of the emerging opportunities created by Internet, Bill Gates proved that he is still able to successfully implement innovations and is ready to take risks. At the same time, this also proves his ability to react immediately on the changes that take place in the market and adapt the work of the company to the changing market situation.

Weaknesses of Bill Gates as a leader 
Naturally, judging from the achievements and rapid progress of Bill Gates company, it is possible to estimate that it is a perfect leader. However, as any other human, Bill Gates has his own weaknesses which are probably overshadowed by his genius and successes but still they may be found in his work. On the other hand, it is necessary to underline that weaknesses are typical to all people but only a strong leaders like Bill Gates can minimize their negative effects on their life and work. Speaking about his weaknesses, it is possible to point out that Bill Gates readiness to take risk is not only an advantage but, under certain circumstance, it may be viewed as a weakness. To put it more precisely, it should be said that, at the beginning of his career, for instance, his decision to create Microsoft basically relied on his subjective forecasts, which though turned to be right, but, in actuality, they were not based on a profound market analysis and research.

Furthermore, it should be said that Microsoft constantly operated in computer and software industry without any serious attempts to enter new industries and develop alternative directions of the further progress of the company. Even though it is possible to argue that the current position of the company is quite stable and the progress Microsoft has made throughout its history is really great but still there are certain risks that can potentially deteriorate the position of the company in its traditional segment of the market. In such a situation, it would be quite useful to focus on alternative ways of the development of the company but Bill Gates seems to be satisfied with the current position of Microsoft.

The presence of risks to Microsoft seems to be hardly probable but still there exists certain threats. It should be said that regardless democratic and liberal approaches Bill Gates uses in his company, in relation to Microsoft position in the world market he demonstrates that he is quite an authoritarian leader. What is meant here is the strong trend of Microsoft to the monopolization of the market. This means that Bill Gates, being conscious of the advantages of his company, does not want to weaken its position but, instead, wants to fully control the world market. Naturally, this may be viewed as an advantage of Bill Gates as an owner of Microsoft but, in actuality, this advantage may turn into weakness if the anti-trust law is applied to the company. In fact, the company has already been attacked for the violation of anti-trust laws though the position of the company did not deteriorate dramatically it is still possible to presuppose that further efforts from the part of states and competitors to undermine the dominant position of Microsoft can lead to disastrous results. Moreover, this trend to monopolization of the market inevitably deteriorates the quality of services and products of Microsoft that undermines the customers’ positive attitude to the brand, but Bill Gates does not seem to be fully conscious of such a threat and being the leader of the company continues this policy.

Also it should be said that Bill Gates seems to be a too important figure in Microsoft to the extent that it is hardly possible to forecast its further development after his retirement. To put it more precisely, even nowadays, Bill Gates take an active part in the development of new software and new products of the company. He pays a lot of attention to strategic development of the company and plays the main role in taking management and strategic decisions in the company. Even though such a position is quite natural to the leader and head of the company but still it is possible to presuppose that Microsoft was and still remains totally a ‘product’ of Bill Gates’ genius, which position can be deteriorated dramatically as soon as its leader gives up his work.

Ethical aspects of Bill Gates leadership
Another important question that arises while analyzing Bill Gates leadership is the ethical question. In this respect, it should be pointed out that it is hardly possible to objectively evaluate the ethical aspect of the leadership of Bill Gates because often business and ethics are concepts that cannot be viewed in a combination. This means that business is not always ethical and this is normal since, otherwise, ethics would dominate over business that could be ruinous to business.

In this respect, it is possible to refer to the example of Microsoft and its position in the market as an example of the split between business and ethics. To put it more precisely, as it has been just mentioned above, Microsoft is in a practically monopolistic position in the market. This means that the competitors of Microsoft are practically deprived of an opportunity to compete fairly with Microsoft and gain a larger share of the market. In stark contrast, Microsoft practically prevents any opportunity to enter its segment of the market and gain a larger share of the market. Obviously, such a policy does not meet the ethical, and even legal, question of fair competition but still, this policy proves to be effective and Microsoft, headed by Bill Gates, does not intend to change its policy. At the same time, it is necessary to remember about customers. From the ethical point of view, it seems to be quite arguable that it is ethically justified to impose its products and services to customers as Microsoft does. Nevertheless, Bill Gates attempts to hide this unethical policy under the pretext that the products of Microsoft are the best and it is actually the customers’ conscious choice but not the will of Microsoft.

However, it is necessary to remember that the attitude of Bill Gates to his employees seem to be ethically justified. In this respect, it should be said that the major criteria that define the success of an employee in the company is his/her own abilities, skills, and knowledge. In this respect, it is worthy of mention that Bill Gates estimate that “if you are intelligent and know how to apply your intelligence you can accomplish anything” (Bank 238). In such a situation, the efforts of Bill Gates to be closer to his employees in his ascetic style making him similar to ordinary employees, which has been already mentioned above, seems to be quite logical and ethically justified since it demonstrates that Bill Gates shares the same values as his employees and that the entire team working within Microsoft is really united.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that Bill Gates is a successful leader that perfectly demonstrated his ability to fully realize his potential and, what is more, stimulate other people to join him in his innovative work. It is necessary to underline that Bill Gates may be viewed not only a successful businessman but rather as a leader having a number of strong qualities. To put it more precisely, he managed to use his talent as an IT specialist in computer programming and developing new software. Moreover, due to his enthusiasm and leader’s charisma he managed to convince his collaborators at the beginning of his career to join him and create Microsoft which later became one of the most successful and commercially profitable companies in the world. He also proved that a good and successful leader has to be able to forecast the future development as Bill Gates did in software and computing field. At the same time, it is important to underline that it was not an occasional insight but rather a trend typical to this strong leader because later he repeatedly demonstrate his ability to constantly implement innovations and adapt the company to changing market situation, as it was in the epoch when Internet had just appeared forcing Microsoft to redeployment. On the other hand, Bill Gates is quite a contradictive leader because he tends to be quite democratic and liberal within the company but in his relations with the major competitors and the world market expansion he is quite an authoritarian person. Such attitude probably affects customers as well who have a little choice but Microsoft products. Nevertheless, the position of Microsoft, headed by Bill Gates, remains to be quite strong.
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